GUARDIANSHIP: TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION BY FAILING TO HONOR THE WARD’S CHOICE OF GUARDIAN WITHOUT FINDING THAT THE APPOINTMENT OF HIS DESIGNATED PRENEED GUARDIAN WAS CONTRARY TO HIS BEST INTERESTS: TRIAL COURT’S FINDINGS THAT PRENEED GUARDIAN MOVED WARD SEVERAL TIMES AND DID NOT COMMUNICATE WELL WITH STAFF OF NURSING FACILITY WHERE WARD WAS CONFINED DID NOT SHOW THAT PRENEED GUARDIAN ABUSED POWERS GRANTED TO HER BY DESIGNATION; DIFFICULTY COMMUNICATING WITH STAFF AT NURSING FACILITY WAS NOT AN ABUSE OF POWER

Martinez v. Smith, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D695 (Fla. 4th DCA March 18, 2015)

“A rebuttable presumption exists that the preneed guardian is entitled to serve as guardian” unless “the preneed guardian is found to be unqualified to serve as guardian” or the appointment of the preneed guardian would be “contrary to the best interests … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

GUARDIANSHIP: INCAPACITATED PERSONS: AN ALLEGED INCAPACITATED PERSON IS NOT REQUIRED TO PAY THE FEES AND COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH A PETITION TO DETERMININE INCAPACITY BROUGHT IN GOOD FAITH BUT IN WHICH INCAPACITY WAS NOT FOUND: COURT URGES LEGISLATURE TO CLARIFY WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING COURT APPOINTED ATTORNEY’S FEES IN THIS SITUATION

Steiner v. Steiner, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D559 (Fla. 2d DCA March 4, 2015)

The son and daughter filed petitions to determine that their parents were incapacitated. Although the petitions were brought in good faith, the court appointed examining committee found that the parents were not incapacitated. As a result, the trial court dismissed the petitions … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

TRUSTS: GUARDIANSHIP: CIVIL PROCEDURE: SUMMARY JUDGMENT: ORDERS: RULES OF CONSTRUCTION: AMBIGUOUS ORDER: PAROL EVIDENCE: TRIAL COURT ERRED BY ENTERING SUMMARY JUDGMENT DETERMINING THAT STIPULATION AND GUADIANSHIP ORDER UNAMBIGUOUSLY PREVENTED MAKER FROM AMENDING HER TRUST: ON REMAND, TRIAL COURT SHOULD CONSIDER PAROL EVIDENCE

Whiting v. Whiting, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D539 (Fla. 5th DCA February 27, 2015)

The mother created a trust, which provided for equal distributions to her three sons upon her death. Three years before she died, “concerns about [the mother’s] mental competency arose,” and two of her sons filed competing petitions for appointment as her … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

GUARDIANSHIP: INCAPACITATED PERSONS: WARD’S SISTER COULD NOT BE COMPELLED TO APPEAR THROUGH COUNSEL BECAUSE SHE WAS NOT A GUARDIAN AND HAD NOT ABUSED THE JUDICIAL PROCESS; CIVIL PROCEDURE: PRO SE LITIGANTS: PRO SE LITIGANTS ARE HELD TO THE SAME STANDARDS AS REASONABLY COMPETENT ATTORNEYS: APPEALS: CERTIORARI: APPEAL TREATED AS PETITION FOR CERTIORARI AND GRANTED

Silveira v. Quiroga, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D287 (Fla 3d DCA January 28, 2015)

When the ward’s sister sought to be substituted for the public guardian, the trial court ruled that she had to appear through counsel, and the sister appealed. The appellate court treated the appeal as a petition for certiorari and granted the petition. … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

GUARDIANSHIP: ORDER AUTHORIZING GUARDIAN FOR INCAPACITATED PERSON TO AMEND TRUST TO APPOINT GUARDIAN AS TRUSTEE AFFIRMED

Rene v. Sykes-Kennedy, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D101 (Fla. 5th DCA January 2, 2015)

The trial court appointed a limited guardian for the ward because she was afflicted with senile dementia. The ward’s trust provided that her granddaughter would serve as trustee if the ward became incapacitated, but the trial court granted the guardian’s motion … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...